[Written for the Sentinel]

"The poppies of Flanders"

HE is not there; beneath the flowers of sleep
He knows nor sleep nor dull forgetfulness.
They say beneath the sword they laid him deep,
And o'er him sobbed in sorrow's dumb distress;
But nay, he is not there. The sunbeams press
Their kisses o'er his brow, and sanguine flowers
(Meet garb of Flanders in her war-stained dress)
Above him shed their burning tears in showers
For many a flaming mile, and mix their woes with ours.

But weep not for the brave; he sorrows not
Save for thy tears. The bitterness of pain,
The hardship and the hate he has forgot;
Only the good and true with him remain,
For these are deathless; and he must retain
All that he knew of God. The poppies fade
And fall and flutter in the wind and rain;
Beneath their rustling roof the dust is laid,
But he yet lives and loves, peerless and undismayed.

Oh, crimson kingdom of the flowers of sleep,
That fain would sacred memory fold to rest
In hushed forgetfulness, profound and deep,
Of one that was the bravest and the best
In earthly aspiration's heavenward quest,
Guard thou the dust—ever the spirit wings
Into the sunset of the golden west;
Our morning vision a new hope upbrings,
For which he lives, the hope of happier, holier things.

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